The Bienen School of Music’s first-ever Horn Symposium will feature three days of intensive workshops for program participants as well as two public concerts on June 10 and 11.

Organized by Gail Williams, Bienen School professor of horn and an internationally recognized hornist and brass pedagogue, the Peak Performance Horn Symposium will be held June 10-12, 2016, at the Ryan Center for the Musical Arts and Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

A series of workshops and master classes, all focused on the elements of achieving a peak performance, will comprise the symposium’s diverse offerings for participants. These workshops will include a discussion of music fundamentals, practicing techniques, phrasing, sports psychology, posture and much more. The program is designed to be relevant to both music students and professionals with a special focus for teachers on how to incorporate these elements into their own teaching.

Several distinguished hornists will join Williams for the symposium, including Jon Boen, lecturer of horn at the Bienen School and principal horn for the Lyric Opera of Chicago; Sarah Willis, the first female brass player to be accepted into the ranks of the Berlin Philharmonic, where she has been a member of the horn section since 2001; and David Brockett, professional horn player and teacher, who will lead meditation workshops during the symposium.

Other guests include John Henes, Bienen School lecturer, who will introduce participants to the Alexander Technique; David McGill, professor of bassoon at the Bienen School, who will lead a session on phrasing; Dr. Toni Bark, who will discuss health, wellness and nutrition; and Claire Pollard, head coach of the Northwestern women’s tennis team, who will lead a session on sports psychology.

The Peak Performance Horn Symposium has almost reached full capacity, but those interested in participating can apply online.

Horn Symposium Concerts

Two concerts will be held in conjunction with the symposium, both of which are open to the public. Tickets for each event are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with a valid ID.

The first concert, on Friday, June 10, at 7:30pm in Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall, will feature Gail Williams and Jonathan Boen on horn; Blair Milton on violin; and Craig Terry and Andrea Swan on piano.

The program on Saturday, June 11, at 7:30pm in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall will include horn duos and trios with Gail Williams, Jonathan Boen, and Sarah Willis on horn and Kay Kim on piano.

  • Gail Williams
  • Jonathan Boen
  • John Henes
  • David McGill
  • brass